When it comes to pairing pork with a wine, there are no fast or hard rules. Generally speaking, most juicy reds and rich whites go nicely with pork. That’s the one-line answer that doesn’t give us too much to work with.
To comprehend how to pair wine and pork, keep on reading as we will cover everything you need to know.
Is it White or Red Meat?
The first dilemma is, is pork red or white meat? That’s debatable, and many people tend to disagree on the given issue. The thing is, there are specific “unwritten” wine pairing rules for white meat, and other ones for red meat.
According to Nutritional studies, pork is classified as red meat, despite its light appearance. Not to mention the US National Pork Board marketing campaign that calls pork “the other white meat.” So you get the idea why people often feel confused about all this red and white meat dilemma.
Then there are experts such as Jean Baptiste, the head sommelier at Goring, that thinks for wine pairing it is essential to consider the way the pork is cooked, the cut of the pork, as well as the sauces that are part of the given dish.
Wine pairing with suckling pig, roast pork, and pork belly
Well cooked suckling pig that tends to melt in the mouth is best served alongside lighter red w03ines; for example, Pinot Noir from some of the cooler areas, Sicilian Nerello Mascales, or Mencia from Spain. Those that lean more toward the white wines should go with Riesling. It matters the most that the wine has a high level of acidity, preferably with a touch of sweetness. If the dish includes an apple that is served alongside, German Riesling might provide the proper freshness. German Riesling is the right wine that can cut through the fat while at the same time does not diminish the crispness that comes with the crackling.
Everything beyond suckling pig can go nicely with somewhat bolder wine. Grenache of Gigondas is a fine wine that fits the bill. That’s mainly because of its richness with acidity.
All in all, as long as the wine is rich in acidity, it doesn’t matter whether it is white or red wine. If you are a white wine lover, then you might consider something like Viognier. This goes perfectly with roasted pork that includes herbs such as Marjoram or Oregano.
Furthermore, fresher styles of Chenin Blanc and Chardonnay, as well as Pinot Noir from warmer regions, can be a great wine match with roasted pork.
Pork Sausages and Wine
Pork sausages can feel out of this world with the right wine. Many experts recommend young Grenache, possibly from the Southern Rhone region. If not, then go for red wine like Barbera that is also a high-acid wine. That’s how you match the fattiness of the sausages, mainly if the dish includes tomatoes that tend to increase the acidity of the meal.
BBQ Pork and Rose Wine
One can’t go wrong with dry rose wine. It doesn’t matter whether it is cooked as a chop or pulled, full-bodied, dry rose is the perfect match. Just don’t go with some of the more delicate styles because the meat can easily overpower them. For example, the Spanish Garnacha rose is the perfect fit for any pork BBQ.
If you’re going for a more powerful BBQ pork flavor, with intense flavors, the you may want to go with a more powerful red like a Malbec.
Roast Ham and Barolo
If you are fortunate enough to own a bottle of few or aged premium Barolo, white Burgundy or Bordeaux, then good for you. Their complexity and their softer tannins make them an ideal match for roasted ham.
With that said, mind the length of the guest list and your wine supplies before everything else. Once you start opening the bottles, it won’t be easy to stop and won’t do any good to your reputation if you don’t have enough bottles to serve your guests.
Don’t bother yourself too much, thinking whether pork is red or white meat. Use our suggestions as sort of directions to the types of wines you want to pair with your pork dish. If you have some of the suggested wines, then it’s even better. Otherwise, there is no other way than to experiment with different wines. After all, the main idea is to enjoy yourself in the process.